Getting Comfortable With The Basics


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How to Make Your Phone’s Fingerprint Reader More Accurate

How to Make Your Phone’s Fingerprint Reader More Accurate by


Fingerprint readers on phones have made devices more secure and faster to unlock, at least when they work on the first try. If you have trouble unlocking your phone quickly, there are things you can do to improve your device’s fingerprint reader.

Biometric identification on phones has come a long way over the last few years, with both Apple and Google building…

Your password has probably been stolen

Your password has probably been stolen. Here’s what to do about it. by

Pardon the interruption, but your passwords are leaking.

You’ve probably become numb to all the headlines about data breaches. But a website called Have I Been Pwned will expose the horror they’ve wreaked on you.

Type in your email address and Have I Been Pwned lists websites and apps on which your passwords have been compromised. (“Pwned,” pronounced like “owned,” is geek speak for conquered.) Try your family members’ emails and your favorite passwords, too. Australian security guru Troy Hunt spends…

Browsing the web in ‘incognito’ mode

There are a lot of misconceptions about browsing the web in 'incognito' mode, researchers say by

Browsing the web in incognito mode isn't as private as most people think.

Researchers with the University of Chicago and the Leibniz University of Hanover recently published the results of a study that included 450 participants. It found that many participants thought "incognito mode" or "private mode" in a web browser protected their online activity much more than it does.

Chrome Tech Support Scam

Watch Out for This Chrome Tech Support Scam by

Even seasoned tech professionals can't help but react badly when lots of big, red text appears on a computer screen proclaiming your machine has been compromised. They are almost always a scam, but unless you know what they look like it can be easy to fall for them. Now a Google Chrome bug has presented scammers with a new opportunity to scare users into paying them to fix a non-existent problem.

Celebrating 10 years of Password Security

Celebrating 10 years of Password Security

LastPass launched ten years ago and was founded on a mission to provide seamless password security for individuals and businesses alike.

Share LastPass with friends

Trouble convincing your friends and family to finally use a password manager? Check out our new infographic for 10 ways to convince your loved ones to take control of their cybersecurity with LastPass.

How to remove third-party access to your Gmail inbox w/ Google Security Checkup

How to remove third-party access to your Gmail inbox w/ Google Security Checkup by

There’s been a lot of brouhaha this week about Gmail and the access that it’s giving third-party apps to your email. I already outlined exactly why this is not something to be particularly concerned about and how those headlines might be misleading to some. One of the key takeaways of my argument is that you still have control over your data and who gets to use it, so here’s how to do that…

Factor Authentication (and Sync Your Codes Between Devices)

Factor Authentication (and Sync Your Codes Between Devices) by

Strong passwords are not enough anymore: we recommend using two-factor authentication whenever possible. Ideally, that means using an app that generates authentication codes on your phone or a physical hardware token. We prefer Authy when it comes to authentication apps—it’s compatible with all sites that use Google Authenticator, but is more powerful and convenient.

Pennsylvania REAL ID

Pennsylvania REAL ID? by      Real ID Frequently Asked Questions

The REAL ID Act is a federal law passed by Congress after Sept. 11, 2001, that establishes specific minimum federal standards for state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards to be accepted for certain federal purposes, like entering a federal building or boarding a domestic commercial flight.

Note: If you are a resident of a different state check with your state's drivers license department.

Ultimate guide to airport security options by

TSA Precheck, Global Entry, CLEAR can speed you through the screening process

If you fly, you’ve endured the chaos of airport security screening: long lines, wrestling to take off your shoes and jacket in the middle of a cranky crowd, and maybe even missing a flight.

Chrome Cleanup Tool

Chrome Cleanup Tool by

The Chrome Cleanup Tool is a program written by Google that will scan a computer for programs that cause problems in Google Chrome. The targeted applications are potentially unwanted programs, malware, badware, and adware extensions that cause advertisements or other wanted actions to appear in Chrome.

Using the Chrome Cleanup Tool is very easy. Simply download it, run it, and let it scan your computer for unwanted programs. If it detects any unwanted programs, it will alert you and wait for you to remove them. Once the programs are removed, it will reset Google back to its default settings.

Browser Crashing Tech Support Pop-ups Are Back

Look Out: Browser Crashing Tech Support Pop-ups Are Back by

Those pop-ups that slow down PCs and tell you to call “Microsoft” at a sketchy 1-800 number are back, thanks to an newly exploited browser bug.

Chrome and Firefox users are both reportedly vulnerable to the attack, which disguises itself as a legitimate error message. The bug exploited here was thought to be patched, but scammers

10 Phone and Laptop Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

10 Phone and Laptop Problems You Shouldn't Ignore by

If you own a phone or a computer (and we’re assuming you do) there are bugs and annoyances that you just have to learn to live with. On the flip side, there are also problems that hint at something much more serious going on with your device—issues you shouldn’t learn to live with, but should address at the earliest opportunity. 

A Unique Username Can Add an Extra Security Layer

A Unique Username Can Add an Extra Security Layer

Create a random and unique username and password for each web service.  Use a "Password Manager" like LastPass to remember and store them securely.

Many people use the same online username across multiple platforms and websites, from Gmail accounts to banking websites. One exposure to a person’s username can open the door to identity theft.

Back in 2014 Snapchat has a data breach it affected 4.6 million usernames and mobile numbers, more recently Yahoo lost control of databases containing information of over a billion users. Even compromised government sites have leaked user data. Using a randomized username is like having two passwords for an account because it makes it harder for someone to guess your username and break in. These cybersecurity hacks are happening more frequently targeting both usernames, and email addresses.

For almost anything you do online you need a username. Rather than using the same email address to log into Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and other online sites, you can create a unique online name. 

Unique usernames can be useful in a few different ways. 

  • Using different usernames for some of your accounts makes it harder for hackers
  • If your username is something unique or funny, it is easy to remember
  • It makes your profile memorable on Facebook, blogs, and forums

Username tips from the pros

  1. Email usernames and bank account usernames should be different.
  2. Never use your SSN or financial institution account as a username.
  3. Decide if your username protects your identity or can be public.
  4. Create a username that is simple enough to remember but hard to guess – and store it in your password manager.
  5. Avoid using familiar numbers with your usernames, such as an address or birth dates. 

There are various ways that you can create usernames. You could sit down and brainstorm some fun things yourself. Another approach is to get a little help, try a free online username generator. 

Here are a few username generators to try.

After creating a custom username using one of the above tools save it safely in LastPass.

Things to Consider When Choosing Usernames

You could make a unique username for each website or do them in groups. For example, you could use one username for your professional interests and another for your email, services, and sites. Doing this creates some separation and makes it harder for people to track you online.

If using a username professionally, remember it can be the first impression a business associate or potential client will have of you.

Try to stay anonymous. In most cases, try to keep identifying info out of your username. JohnSmithOakDrive would give away to much information about the user.

Check out the rules for each site. Some sites have a limit for how long your username is.

Protect your Username with a Secure Password and store them in a password manager like LastPass.

When choosing a username, you should also give some thought to online security. You need to protect your usernames and passwords. If your username and password are stolen or hacked in a security breach, cybercriminals and others could access your financial accounts, use your info for identity theft, or hurt your reputation online.

Router Security Risks

How to Ensure Your Home Router Has the Latest Security Updates by How-To-Geek

Keeping your home router updated is a crucial part of staying secure. Shellshock affected a number of routers, and we’ve also seen routers hacked and turned into botnets. Home router security is notoriously poor.

Why Your Router Is a Security Risk (And How to Fix It) by

The introduction of the home router was a great advancement in security for many owners. Before routers, most PC users relied only on a software firewall or, more often than not, ran no firewall at all. Routers with built-in firewalls have generally been a very good thing.

Google is Changing Its Login Screen

Not Phishing: Google is Changing Its Login Screen This Week by

Google is tweaking its login prompt this week and you should take a quick look at the new design.

Slightly different login screens can prompt panic in savvy web user, who fear spear phishing and other attacks built around fake username and password fields. So it’s worth knowing when a change is coming, however slight it might be.

Not Phishing: Google is Changing Its Login Screen

Not Phishing: Google is Changing Its Login Screen This Week by

Google is tweaking its login prompt this week and you should take a quick look at the new design.

Slightly different login screens can prompt panic in savvy web user, who fear spear phishing and other attacks built around fake username and password fields. So it’s worth knowing when a change is coming, however slight it might be.

Why It’s Not a Big Deal That Google (and Facebook) Knows A Lot About You

Why It’s Not a Big Deal That Google (and Facebook) Knows A Lot About You by

You’ve heard the rhetoric: Google (or Facebook) knows too much about me! But it’s really not that big of a deal. Your data is safe, it’s not really about “you” anyway, and nothing is being sold.

The current narrative is that tech companies knowing too much about you is bad. But why? Because when anyone that you don’t know personally knows a lot about you, it affects our sense of privacy. We naturally feel violated or generally just “weird” about it—but it’s not like that. Your privacy isn’t being violated.

Why Windows Defender Av Isn’t Ranked Higher in New Antivirus Tests

Microsoft: Here's Why Windows Defender Av Isn't Ranked Higher in New Antivirus Tests by

Video: When it comes to malware, Windows 10 is twice as secure as Windows 7.

Microsoft's Windows Defender ranks seventh out of 15 antivirus (AV) products in an independent test. But the results don't tell the whole picture, argues Microsoft.

With improvements to Windows 10's built-in Windows Defender antivirus, some users are…

Chrome Has a Built In Malware Scanner

Chrome Has a Built In Malware Scanner, Here’s How to Use It by

Lots of malware tries to bog down your browser, but Google Chrome isn’t defenseless—on Windows there’s a built-in scanner called Cleanup.

This software runs in the background periodically, but you can manually run a scan right now by heading to the URL chrome://settings/cleanup in your browser, or by going to Settings > Reset and clean up > Clean up computer. Give it a shot, especially if your browser seems sluggish.

*Scan for Unwanted Software Using Chrome

Using chrome://settings/cleanup to Scan for Unwanted Software Using Chrome by

Unwanted software, which consists of adware, browser hijackers, fake system optimizers, & tracking software, continue to be a major problem for computer user's of all types. Even worse, many of these programs have crossed the line from being just a nuisance to now performing click fraud, credential theft, or installing miners.

What many people do not know is that Google Chrome includes a tool created by ESET called the "software_reporter_tool.exe" that periodically scans a computer for unwanted software..


* Motherboard’s Security Tuneup 5 parts

Motherboard's Security Tuneup

Introducing Motherboard’s Digital Security Tuneup – Join us every day for one week to get your data on lock.

  1. You Should Take Five Minutes to Update Your OS and Apps – For day one of our digital security tuneup, take a minute to update all your operating systems.
  2. It's Time to Actually Use Your Password Manager – Day two of our Personal Security Tuneup has you start swapping out your lazy passwords for secure ones, stored in a manager.
  3. You Should Be Using Two-Factor Authentication on Everything – Day three of our personal security tuneup: turn on that 2FA!
  4. Ad Blockers Are Good for Security, Too – On day four of our security tuneup, we recommend installing and ad-blocker…but consider white listing trusted sites!
  5. Seriously, Stop Using Flash – It's day five of our digital security tuneup and it's time to banish this internet relic.


* Android Messages – copy two-factor codes

Android Messages now makes it really easy to copy two-factor codes by

Google is rolling out a small but helpful upgrade to Android Messages: the ability to copy two-factor authentication codes with a single tap, right from a notification.

If you use two-factor authentication to secure your accounts, you’re probably used to this process: type in your password, wait for a text messaged code to arrive, memorize…

Think You’ve Got Your Credit Freezes Covered?

Think You’ve Got Your Credit Freezes Covered? Think Again. by

I spent a few days last week speaking at and attending a conference on responding to identity theft. The forum was held in Florida, one of the major epicenters for identity fraud complaints in United States. One gripe I heard from several presenters was that identity thieves increasingly are finding ways to open new mobile phone accounts in the names of people who have already frozen their credit files with the big-three credit bureaus. Here’s a look at what may be going on, and how you can protect yourself.

Internet Security: Layers of Protection, and Good Habits

The Best Internet Security: Layers of Protection, and Good Habits by

After interviewing information security experts and experienced online-security journalists, we learned no single app can protect you from an ever-changing array of new malware. The best protection consists of setting up and maintaining layers of security on your devices: keeping your operating system, browsers, and software updated, paying for decent but not overbearing virus and malware protection, installing browser extensions for Web privacy and security, and getting into smart security habits.

Gmail Users, You Should Set Up Prompt-based 2fa

Gmail users, here’s how (and why) you should set up prompt-based 2FA by

Last week, Google rolled out two-factor authentication prompts to its updated Gmail app, all in the hopes that more people using Google products will use two-factor authentication to protect their accounts, and that users will choose prompt-based authentication over less secure methods, like SMS codes.

Gmail’s Biggest Redesign is Now Live

Gmail’s Biggest Redesign is Now Live

The world’s most popular email service is getting a big overhaul today. Google is making official the changes we saw leaked earlier this month, with email snoozing, nudging, and confidential mode making their debut alongside a substantial visual redesign for Gmail on the web. The new Gmail begins a…

With new security and intelligent features, the new Gmail means business by

Since the beginning, our aim with G Suite has been to help companies transform the way they work with our suite of cloud-based collaboration and productivity apps.

Stay composed: here’s a quick rundown of the new Gmail by

Email is a necessity for most of us. We use it to stay in touch with colleagues and friends, keep up with the latest news, manage to-dos at home or at work—we just can’t live without it. Today we announced major improvements to Gmail on the web to help people be more productive at work. Here’s a quick look at how the new Gmail can help you accomplish more from your inbox.

A Password Manager Can Help You Share Less Info With Tech Giants

A Password Manager Can Help You Share Less Info With Tech Giants Such as Facebook – Here's How to Use One by CNBC

Single sign-in services from tech giants such as Google and Facebook make it easy to sign in to a lot of different sites without remembering different usernames and passwords for each one.

But if you use these services, the tech giants behind them may be collecting information you didn't realize you were sharing with them.

Somewhere along the line many of us have grown accustomed to using tools from Facebook, Google, Amazon and other big companies to log in to websites and apps, instead of creating new usernames and passwords for each one.

Dot-cm Typosquatting Sites Visited 12M Times

Dot-cm Typosquatting Sites Visited 12M Times So Far in 2018 by

A story published here last week warned readers about a vast network of potentially malicious Web sites ending in “.cm” that mimic some of the world’s most popular Internet destinations (e.g. espn[dot]cm, aol[dot]cm and itunes[dot].cm) in a bid to bombard visitors with fake security alerts that can lock up one’s computer. If that piece lacked one key detail it was insight into just how many people were mistyping .com and ending up at one of these so-called “typosquatting” domains.


Thanks for the suggestion Jay!

Tech Safety Tips for Seniors

Tech Safety Tips for Seniors by

Use this guide if you or a loved one is a senior and needs tech safety tips about computers, smartphones, emails, protecting private information and more!

When it comes to technology, it’s good to be cautious, but it’s better to be educated. If you’re a senior looking to become more…

Best Chromebooks 2018

Best Chromebooks ​2018 by

Chromebooks have come a long way, with solid performance available for a couple hundred bucks. Here are top picks for businesses, schools and families.

Chromebooks have become familiar sights on best-selling laptop lists thanks to their low-prices, long battery life and an internet-focused operating system that's easy-to-use. But don't rush right into buying one; there are plenty of questions to ask first, including whether or not aChromebook is right for you. 

How Chromebooks Became the Go-to Laptops for Security Experts

How Chromebooks Became the Go-to Laptops for Security Experts by CNET

Chrome OS has provided one of the most robust cases of “usable security” available. Here’s the design philosophy from Google that led to that.

When the team behind Google's Chrome OS software and Chromebooks set out to reinvent the laptop, it quickly zeroed in on security as an area where it could bring a fresh perspective.

"On Chrome OS, we were like, 'We control all the pieces. We can do…

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